Tag Archives: family

Flashback Friday: 1999

I love looking at these photos of the two of us B.C. (before children). They are always a good reminder to have fun, take it easy, and really enjoy each other!

From the CD vault: “Let Forever Be” by the Chemical Brothers. Those of you who have watched (and remember) my favorite movie will no doubt recognize the very Xanadu-esque special effects going on in this video. I’m loving it!

I Sewed! (a cloth book for baby)

As soon as I heard the news that my sister-in-law, Emily (who is married to my brother, James), was expecting her first baby, I knew exactly what I was going to do. Knitting was the first thing that popped in my head, but I ruled it out right away, because I knew my mom would knit a blanket. Turns out that my brother Nate, and my daughters, made blankets as well! I decided to make a fabric book with all the members of the baby’s family. I didn’t know how I would do it, I just knew I would figure it out. I had plenty of time, after all.

As is typical for me, I left it, and left it, but I finally got to work as the due date was approaching. I am really happy with how it turned out! (I have bleeped out my nephew’s face, and the kids’ names, for their privacy, and not all the pages are shown.)

To start, I took images of all the people (and dog) and made them black and white, and flipped them horizontally. Then I printed them on t-shirt transfer paper (after testing for size on regular paper). The images were then transferred onto white cotton fabric. The same thing was done for the names of each person.

For each person in the book, I chose fabric that I thought suited their personalities. This started because I saw Elvis fabric one day, and knew I had to get that for my Dad. I cut out each piece of fabric in a square, leaving a good size seam allowance, and allowing extra room for binding the book. After cutting a small square in the center of the page, I placed the face behind it, and sewed it in using a zig-zag stitch. I then sewed on the name of the person. I offset each face to the right, thinking that it would allow for the space needed for binding, but I forgot that not every page would be on the right side! So the faces on the left pages ended up too close to the binding.

Once all the pages were complete, I placed them in order, which is a tricky thing when there are divorced/remarried people that you don’t necessarily want to have back-to-back, or beside each other in a book! It all worked out fine.

I then placed the pages right sides together, and sewed around the edges, leaving a large hole to allow for turning the pages inside-out. I tried it with just a small hole, but I ruined a page doing this – it destroys the image transfer! I had to make sure not to bend the transfers too much. Once the pages were turned right-side out, they were sewn closed.

The pages were all done and then it was time to bind them together.

Shit.

I spent 2 hours thinking, scouring my brain, swearing, and feeling like crap that I wasn’t going to be able to put this thing together, after all that work. I thought of sewing on the machine (too thick), hand-sewing (way too thick), drilling (what was I thinking??), cutting holes (ack! Fraying ends!). It was this last idea that finally led me to the solution. How can I make holes without them fraying? Buttonholes! SO … I put 4 buttonholes near the edge of each page and bound the pages together using a thick yarn. Yay!

The best part of making this book was seeing the joy on Emily and James’ faces as they looked through it. So happy! Yay!

Dear Puppy.

Dear Puppy,
We are really sad to have to make this decision, but we have decided not to take you home with us. We had so much fun visiting with you last week. Well, most of us did. The trouble is, C was still pretty scared, especially with all the big dogs running around, and so many puppies! Next time, we’ll make sure to go inside with just a few pups, so it won’t be so overwhelming for him. We are going to wait about a year or two. By then, he’ll be older, with more positive dog experiences, and taller, too. Plus, with him just starting grade school, things are stressful enough for him, and we don’t want it to be any harder. Our priority is that he feel safe at home.

O and Z (and mom and dad) are really sad about this. But even though I know there is never a “right” time, this just isn’t the best time. We want to have enough time to devote to training you, and this fall isn’t great for that. So, we hope you find a wonderful family to go home to. It was great to meet you and to imagine playing with you.

Love,
Us.

Flashback Friday: 1977

My brother James and I with our puppy J.J., back in the day. My brother is wearing some pretty funky pants, and I have on one of my favourite dresses (which are usually worn with turtleneck shirts, right?) Pretty sure my mom made the dress!

From the cassette vault: Gonna Fly Now (Rocky Theme), dedicated to my bro, of course. Sometimes he’ll call me just to throw out some one-liners from the movies (usually IV – my fave). I love that.

First Day! A new beginning.

Remember back in the spring, when my son spent one full day in school and I kind of fell apart? Afterwards, I thought, “Well, at least I’ve gone through the emotion TODAY. Now I am all set for the first day of school!”

I was so wrong (and I kind of knew I would be… it was just wishful thinking).

Waldorf schools do an incredible job of making the first day memorable and tear-inducing for the parents. The kids play outside for the first half hour (or cling to their parents: check!) to allow for quiet in the hallways once they go inside. Then the children follow their teacher around the playground, pick up their backpacks and enter the school, with the parents following close behind. After taking off their outdoor shoes, the children line up behind their (last year’s) kindergarten teacher. One by one, the kindergarten teachers walk the new students up the rose petal path to greet their class one teacher, and shake her hand. Meanwhile, there is sweet guitar music playing and Kleenex being passed around. The parents meet for tea and sweets afterwards. At the end of the day, the children will each be given a paper cone (which we decorated during our meeting last Friday evening) filled with various treats or supplies. I chose lots of pens and paper – he loves trying out new pens!

I think today was especially hard knowing that he’s my last; he’ll no longer be at home during the day to play with, to help me with shopping, to eat lunch with, to paint with. Boo.

Well, on the other hand, now I don’t have to play all day, I can shop on my own, I can eat in silence, and I can let my mind drift while I am painting. Without guilt.

It’s such a mixed bag of feelings!

I hope you had a wonderful first day of school.

I’m back!

After two weeks in Ontario, I am back! I had big plans on continuing with the blogging, but it just didn’t happen. If you want to see the photos I took while on holiday, you can follow me on Instagram: @belindafireman. Two big highlights from the trip:

Watching my brother and sister-in-law open the gift I made for my new nephew (more about the gift in a future post!):

Meeting my nephew! I’m in love! I was a total hog (according to my Dad), and held him tons. I can’t wait to see him again!

Even though I wasn’t there, seeing the photos and hearing my son’s reaction to his first Major League baseball game was a thrill, as well! He didn’t get home until almost midnight, and he was bubbling with energy, sharing every detail. He said that he hoped he could “have a dream about every single thing that happened that day”.

Flashback Friday: July 6, 2001 & Happy Birthday to my Two Amazing Daughters!

Me, waiting patiently to become a mom. Yes, I had brown hair.

The birthday girls, on the day. O on the left, Z on the right.

In lieu of gushy writing (because I’m just not that kind of blogger) about how much I love my girls (tons), and about all the wonderful qualities that they have (again, tons), and instead of my usual flashback music, here is a video of the two of us, mere hours before becoming parents! I apologize for the poor quality: it’s a video of a video. I couldn’t think of any other way to do this! I was scheduled to have a C-section, because both babies were breech.

O & Z birthday from Belinda Fireman on Vimeo.

Moving on.

It’s been a downer kind of a day. I submitted my art to a juried art show, and it was rejected. I realize that artists have there work rejected all the time, that I’m in good company, but it still stings. Especially when I have been on such a high, for so long, and feeling really good about my work.

“Moving On”

 

Today has been a questioning kind of day. Is my art really any good? Does it matter that my paintings were rejected? Will this affect my work? Well, I did add quite a bit of black to my canvases today, but even though that’s because of how I am feeling, I also realized that I was missing black from my paintings before. They were almost too joyful, and they didn’t feel quite like me yet. They are getting there, and I will continue to make art that I want to make. I know not everyone will like them, but my hope is that I there are enough people who do and want to buy them – because I don’t want to keep my paintings for very long after I make them! [As a side note here.. yes, I do also donate paintings for silent auctions or related fundraising events]

Today was made just a little bit harder because my 6 year old son spent a full day at school. It was a day for them to meet their next-year-Grade-9 buddies (Grade Ones get paired with Grade Nines), and spend the full day with the senior kindergarten kids. I was really looking forward to having a full day to myself. Relaxation! Bliss! Quiet!

I was lost.

I almost crumbled to bits every time someone asked me “How are you?”, including the cashier at Safeway. Safeway was the loneliest place for me today, because he is always with me when I shop – he’s been with me for the last 6 years. I’m still feeling pretty fragile. When my girls reached grade one, it was exciting, but now that it’s my son, my baby, it’s heart-wrenching. I’m feeling the first taste of empty-nest syndrome, and it’s not fun. I wandered around aimlessly for some time today, and then felt guilty for not getting anything done. Oh, and lonely.

Perfect time to get a puppy, right??

Reminiscing.

Gratitude Tuesday

Today I am grateful for:

    • My brother Nathan visiting us this past weekend. We played board games, went dancing, he went for a bike ride with the kids, we ate sushi, we listened to music – a great weekend. My only complaint: too short!

Feel the love!

  • A stress-free clothes shopping experience with all three kids. Decisions were made promptly, and there was no fighting. Can’t ask for much more than that!
  • Painting! I am so thrilled that every time I start painting, I have so much fun. This is still such a new experience for me (the fun, I mean!), and I’m loving it. Nathan painted with me, too!

First layer of the painting! Loving it already.